Coca-Cola kicks off Rugby World Cup sponsorship with Coke Zero

Coca-Cola has kicked off its sponsorship of the Rugby World Cup, which will see the soft drinks giant lead activity with Coke Zero, the first time it has ever led a sports deal with a no sugar drink.

Coca-Cola: kicks off Rugby World Cup sponsorship with campaign and ball giveaway
Coca-Cola: kicks off Rugby World Cup sponsorship with campaign and ball giveaway

In line with Coca-Cola's "one brand strategy", all cola variants will feature in the campaign but Coke Zero will be the 'heroed' product - the first time the company has put a no sugar variant in the forefront of a sports sponsorship campaign. 

The campaign will comprise TV, OOH, and on pack promotions that will see it give away up to one million Rugby World Cup 2015 Coca-Cola Gilbert replica rugby balls. 

The brand will roll out "hundreds" of free, rugby-inspired events across the country throughout the summer including touch, tag, rugby-fit and rugby-inspired dance classes. It has also partnered with charity StreetGames to put on pop up rugby sessions. 

It has also released an "inspirational film" featuring two Rugby World Cup winners; 2003 England player Jason Robinson and Natasha Hunt, part of the 2014 England Women’s Rugby World Cup side.

"We want to use our sponsorship to help take the sport of rugby to an even wider audience, hopefully inspiring people to get involved in the Tournament and have some fun," said Paul Dwan, general manager of Coca-Cola’s Rugby World Cup 2015 team. 

In March, the business announced a major shake up of its marketing approach towards a "one brand" strategy. Since May all Coca-Cola variants - including Coke Life, Diet Coke and Coke Zero as well as the original brand have been advertised together. The move was designed to lend "brand equity" to the lower and no sugar variants, and, Coca-Cola claimed at the time, effectively doubled marketing spend for these brands. 


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